Since 1994, the State of Mississippi has allowed juvenile offenders to be sentenced to life without parole. In Mississippi, children as young as thirteen may receive such a sentence. The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) has identified 25 young men serving a sentence of life without parole in Mississippi.
In preparing this report, LDF reviewed their court files and interviewed two-thirds of the young men, attorneys, family members, relatives, community members, judges, and prosecutors. The young people in Mississippi who are sentenced to life without parole are struggling in many different ways to cope with the finality of their sentence. Some remain hopeful that one day someone will examine their case and give them a chance. Others struggle with the finality of the sentence they have received.